Mid-1950s re-release trailer of “Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff.”
The legendary Chicago-based horror host will be showing the 1949 Universal mystery/horror comedic feature, “Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff” this Sat., May 27 at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
According to his official website, Sven had previously shown Abbott & Costello’s first encounter with Boris Karloff back in March 2012 on Me-TV (Me-TV came into the Frederick/Washington, D.C. viewing area in early 2013).
The film was directed by Charles T. Barton. and was released after the duo’s smash Universal monster farce, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948 which featured Glenn Strange as Frankenstein’s monster, Bela Lugosi in his second and final appearance as Count Dracula and Lon Chaney, Jr. as Lawrence Talbot/The “Wolf Man,” opposite the comedic team). Sven had previously shown “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” back in Oct. 2014, April 2015 and Oct. 2016 on Me-TV.
Who was in “Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff” (in addition to the three main players in the feature)?
In addition to Bud Abbott (as Casey Edwards), Lou Costello (as Freddie Phillips) and Boris Karloff (as Swami Talpur), there were additional players in Barton’s film; including Lenore Aubert (as Angela Gordon), Gar Moore (as Jeff Wilson), Donna Martell (as Betty Crandall), Alan Mowbray (as Melton), Roland Winters (as T. Hanley Brooks) and Billy Gray (in a non-credited role).
This wasn’t Lenore Aubert’s first encounter opposite Bud and Lou, she previously appeared in “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (as Dr. Sandra Moray).
Besides playing various character roles throughout his screen career, Roland Winters was also known for his role as Charlie Chan in Monogram Pictures’ detective film adaptations beginning in 1947 (after the death of Sidney Toler, according to IMDB’s portal on Winters,).
After his appearance in the 1949 Abbott & Costello comedy, Billy Gray would be best known for his roles in “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951, as Bobby Benson), “The Seven Little Foys” (1955, as teenage Bryan Foy) and in the 1954-1960 TV adaptation of “Father Knows Best” (as “Bud” Anderson).
Several changes were made in the script
According to the American Film Institute’s database entry on “Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff;” the screenplay (formerly under the title of “Easy Does It”) was originally written as a vehicle for comedian Bob Hope (who was under contract to rival studio Paramount Pictures at the time). Because of the major success of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” Universal execs wanted another comedy-horror feature with their comedic duo. The script was rewritten by studio screenwriter Oscar Brodney (who was not credited in the film) for Abbott and Costello.
Karloff was originally set to play the role of “Madame Switzer” (according to IMDB’s trivia section). His character was rewritten as a hypnotist five days before filming began.
Abbott & Costello’s 1949 feature with Karloff was not seen in Denmark
According to the AFI portal, “Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff” was not released in Denmark due to heavy objections from local censors over the scene where Bud and Lou were playing a game of bridge with two corpses.
This wasn’t Boris Karloff’s only encounter with Bud and Lou
Trailer for “Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1953).
Karloff would appear in another horror farce with Universal’s comedic duo, “Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1953, Karloff played Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, the aforementioned film was showcased on Sven’s show back in August 2014 on Me-TV).
Watch Svengoolie’s showcase of “Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff” (1949) this Sat. on Me-TV
Be sure to tune in to (or record) Sven’s upcoming showcase of “Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff” (1949) this Sat. on Me-TV. With two hours of hilarity and spooks (along with Sven’s fun facts about the film, Doug Graves’ musical intermission, Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment), you will not be disappointed!
Sat., May 27 at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on Me-TV
In the Washington, D.C./Frederick, Maryland area: WTTG 5.3/Comcast 196
In the Baltimore, Maryland region: WBAL-TV 11.2/Comcast 208 (Sven is time-delayed to 11 p.m. due to TV-11’s exclusive 10 p.m. newscast on their Me-TV sub-channel)
Ed. Note: A big “thank you” to all fellow friends of the matinee from coast-to-coast for the wonderful congratulatory graduation greetings last Sat. after walking the graduation commencement ceremony at Hood College (highly appreciated)! -C.H.